Justice Antonin Scalias death has increased political uncertainties for Dow Chemical.
Justice Antonin Scalia's death has increased "political uncertainties" for Dow Chemical. Jonathan Weiss /Shutterstock.com

Bloomberg is reporting that the Dow Chemical Co., a corporation which had nearly $50 billion in revenue last year, has agreed to pay $835 million to settle an antitrust lawsuit that has been in the courts since 2005 (a regular Jarndyce and Jarndyce that one). Why? Because Justice Antonin Scalia is dead, and so a vote in the Supreme Court would likely be tied 4-4, thereby sending the case back to the lower court, which did not rule in favor of the corporation.

In the words of Dow Chemical:

Growing political uncertainties due to recent events with the Supreme Court and increased likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class-action suits have changed Dow’s risk assessment of the situation...

Does conservative mean offering blank-check support to any big business no matter what? Or does it mean supporting the processes of the free market? Judging from Scalia, a conservative must mean the former. Voting in favor of Dow Chemical's price-fixing conspiracy, as he was expected to do if he were alive (and not dead), would have meant voting against the market, which, as any student of economics knows (or is told to know), is most efficient when it is communicating true prices to all sellers and buyers. Calling Scalia "one of the court’s most conservative members," can only mean that conservativism in the US is really only about selling votes or political decisions to businesses or people with the deepest pockets.

In the blackest of Africa, we actually have a name for this kind of thing—the kind of thing you in America call conservatism. We call it corruption.